Harty on . . . Steven Gerrard and Rebels’ turnaround

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THERE were emotional scenes at Anfield on Saturday when Steven Gerrard brought down the curtain on his illustrious Liverpool career.

Although Crystal Palace didn’t work to the script, it was nonetheless a great occasion, despite the visitors’ 3-1 victory.

There is no doubt Gerrard is an all-time great and, along with John Terry, probably represents the last of the ‘one-club men’ at the very top level.

His commitment and loyalty to Liverpool cannot be questioned. The much-publicised proposed move to Chelsea, which would have clearly got him that elusive Premier League medal, only for him to realise at the 11th hour that he couldn’t leave The Reds, is testament to that.

Among the accolades given to him over the weekend was the mantle of the greatest player in the history of Liverpool Football Club.

There’s no doubt he was great, but was he the greatest?

Or, was he the very best of a quite ordinary bunch in the grand scheme of things?

Lennox Lewis draws a similar analogy. He was a great heavyweight champion but, at a time when Mike Tyson crashed and burned outside the ring and, with the exception of Evander Holyfield, there was no one of any real note to challenge him (apologies to Frank Bruno and his fan base).

To put Gerrard above the likes of Dalglish, Rush and Keegan is a massive shout, and almost done through Red and White spectacles.

If you had Marty McFly’s DeLorean and took him back to the late 70s and early 80s, there’s no doubt he would feature in the four-time European Cup winning side, but would he have been the star?

Critics might, somewhat unkindly, say that his back trouble will clear up now as he won’t have to carry Liverpool, like he’s done for more than a decade. But aside from that remaining positive, he has been a true footballing icon for both club and country.

The ‘Gerrard Cup Final’ and the amazing night in Istanbul provide football fans, not just on Merseyside but around the country, with moments they will never forget.

Work on the new 3G pitch at Woodside Road is gathering momentum and with it a whole new optimism at Worthing Football Club.

Personally, I sometimes have trouble comprehending the turnaround in six months. Back in December, the club was facing extinction with the possibility of going to the wall mid-season and, with the indignity of, after 129 years, having the record of their final season expunged.

Until that is George Dowell came forward and, with his extensive investment, the future of the club looks better than it has in decades.

While Adam Hinshelwood worked wonders on the pitch, the arrival of George has lifted the whole mood of the club off it.

With the contractors working hard, it looks apparent that the new pitch will be ready at the beginning of July. Negotiations are still on-going about potential opponents for the first game, but we are still talking to two Premier League sides at the time of going to press.

Hopefully, some further confirmed fixtures will be announced in the coming weeks.

And, while commercial manager Tony Brown will be working hard as usual, the fact that the club appears to be re-engaging with the community will make his job a little bit easier when attracting sponsors and advertisers.

From the sleepless nights back in December, it’s now the complete opposite.

And, finally, congrat-ulations to our very own Kevin Clarke, who won the Talksport People’s Pundit competition.

Kevin’s first official assignment sees him going to the Brittania Stadium this Sunday to cover Stevie G’s final game in the Premier League.

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